Sunday 11 December 2016

Airtricity SSE profits surge 44pc to €49m in spite of market share loss

Gordon Deegan

Published 27/01/2016 | 02:30

SSE Airtricity Managing Director Stephen Wheeler, An Tanaiste Joan Burton TD and Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash TD
SSE Airtricity Managing Director Stephen Wheeler, An Tanaiste Joan Burton TD and Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash TD

Pre-tax profits at energy firm SSE Airtricity increased by 44pc to €49m last year in spite of the firm suffering a loss in customers.

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The firm is the second largest provider of electricity to domestic users in Ireland and saw its customer numbers decline by 1.78pc to 338,596 at the end of 2014.

The company sustained further losses in customer numbers in the first half of 2015. New figures filed with the Companies Office show that revenues decreased from €924.4m to €853.4m in the year to the end of March 31 last.

SSE Airtricity had 16.73pc of the residential market at the end of 2014.

Figures from the Commission of Energy Regulation (CER) show that Electric Ireland had the highest residential market share at 61.66pc.

Bord Gáis Energy had a market share of 13.69pc, PrePayPower had 4.68pc and new entrant Energia had 2.43pc with others accounting for 0.81pc.

According to the directors' report for SSE Airtricity the results "reflect various factors including the settlement of prior year accruals and improved efficiencies in operating costs".

The firm paid a dividend of €70m in fiscal 2014 following a number of years of hefty profits and no dividend was paid last year.

However, in its largest quarterly report for the second quarter of 2015, CER state that SSE Airtricity's market share (customer numbers) "has declined across all segments…SSE Electricity also lost market share in terms of consumption in all segments". Numbers employed rose from 405 to 415 with staff costs rising from €15.4m to €15.7m.

The profit last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €3.5m.

The firm's shareholder funds last year totalled €83.8m, made up of €67.8m in accumulated profits and a capital contribution of €16m.

The firm's cash during the year rose from €2.1m to €2.28m. Cost of sales last year totalled €758m compared to €844m the previous year. Operating expenses decreased from €47.49m to €46m.

Irish Independent

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